The Chicagoland area offers a nice mix of opportunities to walk, or to drive, to locations of interest. Here in the suburbs, pedestrian traffic is a bit less prevalent than in the city of Chicago, but it is still quite common to see walkers or joggers on sidewalks throughout the suburban area.

Unfortunately, pedestrians are not always safe even if traffic laws are made to protect them and give them the right of way. A recent report published in the Daily Herald showed some startling statistics of unsafe practices happening right in our area.  Pedestrians in the Chicago area and Kane County cannot just rely on what should be safely marked crosswalks, because many unsafe drivers are ignoring them.

In order to keep you as safe as possible while you walk, or run, to your destination, take a look at just a few of our safety tips.

Err on the side of extreme caution
If you are waiting to cross the street while walking and see an approaching vehicle, don’t try to get across quickly. Instead, always err on the side of extreme caution, being extra vigilant for cars near the intersection.

Look in every possible direction
Cars can come from anywhere, and while it is the car driver’s job to look for the pedestrian, it is safer is you are looking just as much for the cars. Look in all possible directions that a car could cross your path and proceed cautiously.

Don’t count on a four way stop sign
Four-way stops are especially dangerous, as cars are typically looking for other cars and not for pedestrians. Do not assume that the vehicles will give you the right of way, instead waiting until you have looked the drivers in the eyes so that you know they see you.

Wear reflective gear
The early morning and early evening hours are pitch black in a Chicagoland winter. Unfortunately, this means drivers are more likely to miss seeing a pedestrian. If you are out in the dark or dusky times of day, wear reflective gear. A reflective vest, while not necessarily a vogue fashion statement, is essential for your dark walks. Walking with your dog? Try a reflective leash as well to increase your chances of being spotted.

Know what to do in case of an emergency
If you are injured in an accident while you are a pedestrian, it is important that you know what to do in the aftermath. Make sure you go to the emergency room and make your follow up appointments as necessary. Also, give our office a call to talk more about your compensation options. Our team has years of experience working with clients to assure a positive outcome.

Be safe out there and always be on the lookout for unsafe drivers.